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Mathematician devises way to board airplanes faster

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A Chinese mathematician is touting a new way to get people onto commercial airline flights faster.

Dr Tie-Qiao Tang, along with a small team of researchers, has suggested that airlines should assign seating after evaluating each passenger on several variables.

According to Gizmodo, the study claims: 

"Each passenger has their own individual properties. For example, each passenger's luggage has a different attribution and thus has different influences on boarding behavior; the time that the passenger's ticket is checked at the gate is different; the time that the passenger deals with his or her carried luggage is different; seat conflicts have different effects on the passenger. Each passenger has a different optimal speed, maximum speed and safe distance."

Basically, passengers are evaluated by how fast they can board the plane, and then are assigned a seat.  The researchers compared their method to two others; the free-for-all, where passengers board in any order they like, and assigned seating.

According to Tang, "overtaking, queue-jumping, seat conflict congestions and jams may occur under the first two boarding strategies," but doesn't happen with Tang's proposed method. And to boot, the third method is the fastest, according to the study.

The only problem with the method is that it would require airlines to keep detailed profile information on their customers, like average boarding speed.

But Tang is not the first person to suggest new and better ways for airlines to board passengers.

Last year, Jason Steffen, from the Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics, designed a system where passengers line up in a "very specific" order and then board.

His method also proved faster than getting on a plane in groups or in a back-to-front order. 

So what do you think? What's the best way to get people onto commercial flights quickly?




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